INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 45
To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.
There are some things in this title we have met with already in other psalms; as the direction, "to the chief Musician, for the sons of Korah"; and one of its names, "Maschil". The word "shoshannim", according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, is the name of a musical instrument, on which this psalm was sung; an instrument of six strings, as Junius: but Aben Ezra thinks it was the first word of a song, to the tune of which it was sunny; though others are of opinion that it points at the persons, the subjects of this psalm, and may be rendered, "concerning Shoshannim"; that is, as the Targum interprets it, "concerning those that sit in the sanhedrim of Moses": and Jarchi's note is, "for the glory of the disciples of the wise men", comparable to lilies; for so this word signifies, and may be translated, "concerning the lilies" (t); that is, concerning Christ and his church, who are manifestly the subject of this psalm, and are compared to lilies, Sol 2:1. This psalm is called "a song of loves", an epithalamium, or marriage song, setting forth the mutual love of Christ and his church; or "a song of the beloved ones" (u) or "friends"; of Christ, who is the beloved and friend of his church; and the church, who is the beloved and friend of Christ; see Isaiah 5:1; and the word here used being in the feminine gender, some have supplied the word "virgins", and render it thus, "a song of the beloved virgins" (w); sung by them on account of the marriage between Christ and his church, who are the companions of the bride, mentioned in Psalm 45:14, and friends and lovers of the bridegroom; see Sol 1:3. The writer of this psalm is not mentioned; it was not written by the sons of Korah, as say the Targum and Syriac version; but most probably by David, though not concerning his son Solomon, as some have thought, who, though wiser than all men, is never said to be fairer; nor was he a warrior, as the person is represented; nor was his throne and kingdom for ever and ever; nor he the object of worship; nor was his marriage with Pharaoh's daughter so commendable a thing; nor is she ever praised, as the queen herein mentioned is: but the person who is spoken of is the Messiah, as is owned by several Jewish writers: the Targum interprets Psalm 45:2 of the King Messiah; and Ben Melech says, he is meant by the King in Psalm 45:1. Aben Ezra observes, that this psalm is said concerning David, or concerning the Messiah his son, for so is his name, Ezekiel 37:26; and Kimchi expressly says, it is spoken concerning the Messiah; and Arama affirms, that all agree that it treats of him.
(t) "de liliis", Tigurine version. (u) "canticum amicarum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "amatarum", Cocceius. (w) "Dilectarum sen de dilectis Christo virginibus", Michaelis; "a song of the well beloved virgins", Ainsworth.
To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves. My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.My heart is inditing a good matter,.... What is valuable and excellent, concerning the excellency of Christ's person, of his kingdom, of his love to the church, and of the church itself; what is pleasant and delightful, comfortable, useful, and profitable: this his heart was inditing; which shows that it was under the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, and denotes the fervour of it; it "boiling up", as the word (x) signifies; being heated by the fire of the divine Spirit, whereby it was hot within him, and caused him to speak with his tongue; and also the abundance that was in it, it "bubbling up" (y), as some choose to render it: from whence this good matter flowed like water out of a fountain;
I speak of the things which I have made touching the King; the King Messiah; the King of the whole world, and of the kings of it, and of the saints in it; over whom he reigns in a spiritual manner, and in righteousness; concerning whom this psalm or poem was composed by David under divine inspiration, and which he here delivers:
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer; or as (z) one; such an one as Ezra was, Ezra 7:6, that writes swiftly and compendiously; suggesting, that as he was; full of matter, he freely communicated it, being moved by the Holy Spirit, who spake by him, and whose word was in his tongue; which made him so ready and expert in this work. The allusion is to scribes and notaries, and such like persons, that are extremely ready and swift in the use of the pen. The word for "pen" is derived either from which signifies "to fly" (a), and from whence is a word used for a "flying fowl"; yet we are not to imagine that here it signifies a pen made of a bird's quill, as now in common use with us: for this did not obtain until many hundred years after David's time. It seems that Isidore of Seville, who lived in the seventh century, is the first person that makes mention of "penna", a "pen", as made of the quill of a bird (b), but rather the pen has its name in Hebrew, if from the above root, from the velocity of it, as in the hand of a ready writer; or rather it may be derived from "to sharpen", in which sense it seems to be used, Ezekiel 21:15; and so a pen has its name from the sharp point of it: for when the ancients wrote, or rather engraved, on stone, brass, lead, and wood, they used a style or pen of iron; see Job 19:24; so when they wrote on tables of wood covered with wax, they used a kind of bodkin made of iron, brass, or bone; See Gill on Habakkuk 2:2; and when upon the rind and leaves of trees, and on papyrus and parchment, they made use of reeds, particularly the Egyptian calamus or reed; and the word here is translated calamus or reed by the Targum, Septuagint, and all the Oriental versions. Now as the Jews had occasion frequently to copy out the book of the law, and other writings of theirs, their scribes, at least some of them, were very expert and dexterous at it; but whether the art of "shorthand" was to any degree in use among them is not certain, as it was in later times among the Romans, when they used marks, signs, and abbreviations, which seems to have laid the foundation of the above art, and had its rise, as is said, from Cicero himself, though some ascribe it to Mecaenas (c): and in Martial's time it was brought to such perfection, that, according to him, the hand could write swifter than a man could speak (d).
(x) "ebullit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth. (y) "Eructavit", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Munster. (z) So the Targum, Tigurine version, Gejerus, & Michaelis. (a) Vid. Kimchi Sepher Shorash. rad. (b) Origin. l. 6. c. 13. (c) Vid. Kipping. Antiqu. Roman. l. 2. c. 4. p. 554. (d) "Currant verba licet, manus est velociter illis; nondum lingua suum, dextra peregit opus", Martial. Epigr. l. 14. ep. 189. of the origin of shorthand with the Romans, and among us, with other curious things concerning writing, and the matter and instruments of it, see a learned treatise of Mr. Massey's, called, "The Origin and Progress of Letters", p. 144. printed 1763.
Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.Thou art fairer than the children of men,.... Here begins the psalm, and this is an address to the King Messiah, the subject of it, commending him for his beauty and comeliness; which is not to be understood of his divine beauty or his glory, as the only begotten of the Father, in which he is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; for this admits of no comparison, nor is the beauty of angels and men to be mentioned with it; but of the beauty of his human nature, both in body and soul, which being the immediate produce of the Holy Spirit, and without sin, and full of wisdom, grace, and holiness, must transcend that of any or all the sons of Adam. They are all deformed by sin; and whatever spiritual beauty there is in any of them, they have it from Christ; they are comely through his comeliness the outward beauty of men is vain and deceitful, and soon perishes; but Christ is ever the same, and he esteemed of by all that know him, as exceeding precious, altogether lovely, and transcendently excellent and glorious. The Hebrew word here used is doubled in its radicals, which denotes the exceeding great fairness and beauty of Christ, especially as Mediator, and as full of grace and truth. It follows,
grace is poured into thy lips; by which is meant the matter of his speech, or the Gospel preached by him; these words of grace, as Kimchi on the text expresses himself; or gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, Luke 4:22. The Gospel of the grace of God was given him to preach; it was put into his mouth, and that in great abundance; it was given at sundry times and in divers manners, and by piecemeal, to the prophets before him; but it was poured into his lips, and he was abundantly qualified for preaching it, by having the Spirit without measure given him; and so was poured out in a graceful manner, with great authority, and as never man before him spake, in doctrines of grace, gracious invitations, precious promises, excellent prayers, and even words of eternal life; see Sol 5:13;
therefore God hath blessed thee for ever; or, "because (e) God hath blessed thee for ever"; in his human nature, with the grace of union to the Son of God, and with all the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God; and as Mediator, with all spiritual blessings, with grace and glory for his people. Hence all his comeliness, grace, and gracefulness.
(e) "eo quid", Tigurine version; "propterea quod", Musculus, Piscator; "quia", Gejerus.
Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty,.... As Christ is, the mighty God, even the Almighty, and which appears by his works of creation and providence; by the redemption of his people; by his care and government of them; by succouring them under all their temptations and afflictions; by strengthening them for every service, duty, and suffering; by pleading their cause, and supplying their wants; by preserving them to his kingdom and glory; by raising them from the dead at the last day, and by introducing them into the possession of the heavenly inheritance. This mighty One is called upon to "gird on his sword": by which is meant either the sword of the Spirit, the word of God; which is sharp in convincing of sin, reproving for it, and threatening on account of it, as well as in refuting error and heresy; and a twoedged one, consisting of law and Gospel, and which Christ made use of to great purpose, against Satan in the wilderness, and against the Scribes and Pharisees; and which he will make further use of in the latter day, against the man of sin, and his followers: or else the power of Christ, which, as the Leader and Commander of his people, and the Captain of their salvation, is called upon to exert, by preparing to engage with, and by destroying his and their enemies; and which he did put forth when the year of the redeemed was come, which was the day of vengeance in his heart; when he combated with and destroyed Satan, and spoiled his principalities and powers; when he abolished death itself, and took away sin the sting of it, and the law, the strength of sin; overcame the world, and delivered his people from it, and out of the hand of every enemy. It is added,
with thy glory and thy majesty; which may be connected either with the phrase "and most mighty", and so be expressive of the glory and majesty of Christ, as the mighty God; or with his sword, as an emblem of his authority and majesty as a King, and may denote the glory of his Gospel and of his power; or may point at the end of his girding his sword upon his thigh, which was to show forth the glory of his majesty, or to obtain honour and glory: though the word "gird" may be supplied and repeated, and so make a distinct proposition, "gird with thy glory and thy majesty"; which was done when he was raised from the dead, and had glory given him; was crowned with it, and had the glory put upon him he had with his Father before the world was.
And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.And in thy majesty ride prosperously,.... Not literally, as was prophesied of him he should, and as he did, Zechariah 9:9; but mystically and spiritually, either in the chariots of angels up to heaven, Psalm 68:17; or on the white horse of the Gospel, with his bow and arrows after mentioned, conquering and to conquer, Revelation 6:2; and where he rides "in his majesty", showing forth his glory both as a divine Person and as Mediator; and which is very conspicuous in the Gospel, and the ministry of it; and also "prosperously", as he did in the first preaching of the word by the apostles, when it was made the power of God to salvation to multitudes, and the Lord caused them to triumph in Christ everywhere; and as he will in the latter day, when the Jews will be converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in;
because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; either because he himself is "truth", the truth of all types, promises, prophecies, and doctrines; or because of the Gospel of truth which comes by him; or on account of his truth and faithfulness in fulfilling his own engagements, and the promises of his father: and because of the "meekness" which was so apparent in him, in taking upon him the form of a servant; in his marriage to sinners, and conversation with them; in ministering: to his disciples; in his conduct towards his enemies; and in seeking not his own glory, but his Father's: and because of "righteousness", the holiness of his nature, the purity of his life and actions; and because of the righteousness he is the author of to his people, and of his righteous administration of his offices, especially as a King;
and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things; or thy power, which the right hand is a symbol of, shall perform terrible things; as it did in the work of redemption, by conquering and destroying the enemies of his people, and of himself; and as it does in the conversion of men, which makes terrible work in their consciences, as the instances of the three thousand, of Saul, and of the jailer show; and as it has in his judgments on his enemies the Jews, in the utter ruin of their nation, city, and temple; and will do on all the antichristian powers in the latter day. The Targum paraphrases it,
"the Lord shall teach thee to do terrible things with thy right hand (f).''
(f) "Dextra mihi Deus", &c. Virgil. Aeneid. 10. prope finem.
Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies,.... Meaning either the Jews, who were the implacable enemies of Christ, and who would not have him to reign over them; in the midst of whom were sent his arrows, of the sword, famine, and pestilence, and which were very sharp, and made sad havoc among them, and caused such a time of tribulation as was not before, or has been since, Matthew 24:21; or else the doctrines of the Gospel. The Scriptures are the quiver out of which they are taken; the Gospel is the bow into which they are put, and out of which they are shot; and ministers are the archers that draw the bow at a venture, and shoot them; and which are compared to "arrows" for their swift, sudden, and secret motion, and for their piercing and penetrating power and efficacy: and these are Christ's, which he is the author of, and which he makes use of to good purpose, by striking the hearts of his people with them, who in their state of unregeneracy are enemies to him; which appears by their wicked works, and as they were when he died for them, and reconciled them to God; by means of which arrows fixed in them, and with which their hearts are pricked and wounded, they submit unto him, signified by the next clause:
whereby the people fall under thee: acknowledge themselves sinners; fall down at his feet; humbly implore his grace and mercy; submit to his righteousness; depend on him alone for salvation; adore him, and give him the glory of it, as well as become subject to his laws and ordinances. This is to be understood of those who are God's covenant people, whom he has given to Christ, and he has redeemed by his blood; and particularly the Gentiles, who were not a people, but now openly are, in distinction from the Jews, the enemies of the King Messiah.
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,.... This verse and Psalm 45:7 are cited in Hebrews 1:8; and applied to the Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity; and therefore are not an apostrophe to the Father, as some have said; nor will they bear to be rendered, "thy throne is the throne of God", or "thy throne is God"; or be supplied thus, "God shall establish thy throne". But they are spoken of the Son of God, who is truly and properly God, the true God and eternal life; as appears by the names by which he is called, as Jehovah, and the like; by his having all divine perfections in him; by the works which he has wrought, and by the worship which is given unto him; and to whom dominion is ascribed, of which the throne is an emblem, Genesis 41:40. And this his government is either general, over angels, good and bad, and over men, even wicked men, and over the greatest among men, the kings of the earth; or special, over his own church and people, and which is exercised by his Spirit and grace in them; by his word and ordinances among them; and which will be in a glorious manner in the latter day; and in heaven, though not in the same manner as now, and that to all eternity: for to this government duration for ever and ever is attributed; Christ will have no successor, he will die no more; nor can his government be subverted or taken out of his hands, or he be removed from his throne by any of his enemies, or by all of them; and though his kingdom will be delivered up to the Father, it will not cease, it is an everlasting one;
the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre; meaning either the Gospel, which is the golden sceptre of mercy and grace, stretched out and held forth for the encouragement of sensible sinners; and is a sceptre of righteousness, as it directs to the righteousness of Christ for justification, and encourages works of righteousness to be done by men: or rather the righteous administration of Christ's government is meant, the sceptre being an emblem of dominion and government, Genesis 49:10.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.Thou lovest righteousness,.... Either righteous persons, whom his countenance beholds, on whom his eyes are, and from whom they are never withdrawn, and with whom he is exceedingly delighted: or righteous things; a righteous administration of government; faithfulness and integrity in whatsoever he is intrusted with, or appointed to by his father; all righteous actions which the law requires, as appeared in the whole course of his life; and by working out a righteousness for his people, and by encouraging them in works of righteousness; and as also will appear by judging the world in righteousness at the last day, and by giving the crown of righteousness to his righteous ones;
and hatest wickedness; which was manifest not only by his inveighing against it and dehorting from it, and by his severity exercised towards delinquents; but by suffering for it, and abolishing it, and by chastising his own people on account of it;
therefore God, thy God; or "because (g) God", thy God; who is the God of Christ, as Christ is man; who prepared and formed his human nature, supported it in suffering, and glorified it, and to whom Christ prayed, and whom he believed in, loved, and obeyed as such:
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows; who though he is called God, Psalm 45:6, and is truly so, yet was not anointed as such, but as man and Mediator, to the office of Prophet, Priest, and King; and not with material oil, but with the Holy Ghost, his gifts and graces; see Acts 10:38; called "the oil of gladness", in allusion to the use of oil at feasts and weddings, for the delight and refreshment of guests, and particularly of the oil of lilies, "olcum susinum", so some (h) translate it; well known to the Hebrews, who inhabited Syria and Palestine, where red lilies grew, of which this was made, and had in great esteem; and because of its effects in the human nature of Christ, filling it with alacrity and cheerfulness to go through the work he came about. This unction rotors to the time of his conception and birth, and also to the time of his baptism; and the phrase, "above thy fellows", denotes the abundance of the Spirit's grace, his having it without measure, and in a transcendent manner to any of the sons of men, even his own people; for these, and not angels, nor the princes of the earth, are meant, neither of which are his fellows; but the saints, who are of the same nature with him, of the same family he is the head of, of the same dignity through him, being made kings and priests by him, partakers of the same Spirit and grace; and will be companions with him, and sit on the same throne with him to all eternity. The Targum, in the king of Spain's Bible, begins the verse thus;
"But thou, O King Messiah, because thou lovest, &c.''
(g) "propterea quod", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Piscator, Gejerus; "quia", Rivet. Noldius, p. 727, No. 1730. (h) Vid. Schacchi Elaeochrism, l. 1. c. 27. & 28.
All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia,.... Either his human nature, as anointed with the oil of gladness, and filled with the graces of the Spirit, signified by the holy anointing oil in the tabernacle, of which the things mentioned were ingredients, Exodus 30:23; or the garments of salvation and robe of righteousness, wrought out by him for his people, which are well pleasing and acceptable to his Father, and of a sweet smelling savour, being agreeable to his law and justice; and also to himself, as they are put upon his people; see Sol 4:11. And likewise to them who rejoice at being clothed with them, and desire to be found in them: or else his people themselves, who are sometimes compared to a clothing and to garments, Isaiah 49:18; whose persons are to God as the smell of a field, whom the Lord has blessed; and whose sacrifices of prayer and praise are sweet odours to him, through the mediation of his Son;
out of the ivory palaces; see Sol 7:4; meaning the places from whence these garments were taken, the wardrobe; or from whence Christ came, and where he appears; as heaven, the palace of the great King, from whence he came down, whither he is gone, and from whence he is expected again; and the human nature of Christ, in which he tabernacled on earth, and was pure and clear from sin; and his churches, which are his temples and palaces, where he grants his presence. Or it may be rendered, "more than the ivory palaces" (i), and so be expressive of the excellency of Christ's garments above them; and denote the purity of his human nature, the spotlessness of his righteousness, and the comeliness of his people;
whereby they have made thee glad; or, "wherein" or "from whence" (k); in which palaces, the churches, the saints make Christ glad, by speaking of his glory; by ascribing glory to him; and by the exercise of grace upon him, with which his heart is ravished, Sol 4:9. Or "for which" (l); garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness; they being clothed with them, and rejoicing in them, cause joy and gladness in Christ: or "more than they", or "theirs that make thee glad" (m); meaning his fellows and their garments, his being more odorous than theirs.
(i) "prae palatiis eburneis", Cocceius, Gejerus. (k) "unde", Montanus, Musculus, Muis, Noldius, p. 629, No. 1664. (l) "Propter quod", Muis. (m) "Prae iis", Junius & Tremellius; "magis quam eorum", Piscator; so Ainsworth.
Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women,.... Or "maids of honour" (n); who filled and adorned the king's court, and made a splendid appearance there, the same with the virgins, the companions of the bride, in Psalm 45:14; and design truly gracious souls, believers in Christ, who are his "precious ones" (o), as the word may be rendered; the excellent in the earth, in whom is all his delight; the precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold; his portion, his jewels, his peculiar treasure, and the apple of his eye: and since they have been precious to him, they have been "honourable", as they are, both by birth and marriage, being born of God, and espoused to Christ; by their character, kings and priests; and by their company, being among princes, and especially by their having communion with Father, Son, and Spirit: and among these are "kings' daughters"; yea, they are all of them the sons and daughters of the King of kings; not by their first birth, by which they were mean, base, and dishonourable, wretched and miserable, and children of wrath, as others; but by their second birth, or regeneration, through being born from above, and of God, to an incorruptible inheritance; and so are clothed and fed like the daughters of kings, and have the attendance of such, angels to wait upon them and guard them; and through adopting grace, which regeneration is the evidence of, by virtue of which some of the children of men become the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty; and through their marriage to the King's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: the words may be rendered, "Kings' daughters were in thy precious things" (p); that is, were arrayed with them: meaning either the graces of the Spirit, comparable to gems, pearls, jewels, and precious stones; see Sol 1:10; or else the rich robe of Christ's righteousness, and garments of salvation, with which believers being clothed, are as a bridegroom decked with ornaments, and as a bride adorned with jewels, Isaiah 61:10; and this agrees with what follows;
upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir; by whom is meant the church, whose title is a "queen", being the bride, the Lamb's wife: wherefore, because he is King, she is queen; for this title she has not of herself; it is founded not in her own right, but upon her relation to Christ, being married to him; and so is expressive of relation to him, union with him, and of privilege and dignity through him; she sharing with him in all he has, even in his kingdom and government, reigning with him, and on the same throne: her being "on his right hand" shows the honour she is advanced unto; yet "standing" may denote subjection to him as her Lord and head; and being so close by him may suggest her fidelity and inviolable attachment to him, and strict adherence to his person, cause and interest; as well as her protection from him, being held and upheld by his right hand; and her reception of favours from thence, and her enjoyment of his presence, at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore. Her dress is "gold of Ophir": a place famous for gold; See Gill on 1 Kings 9:28; with which the clothes of great personages used to be embroidered; so Esther is said (q) to put on her royal apparel, adorned with the good gold of "Ophir": here it means, that the queen's or church's clothing was of wrought gold, as in Psalm 45:13, and intends the righteousness of Christ, with which she is arrayed, comparable to it for its richness, purity, lustre, glory, and duration.
(n) "inter noblies tuas", Tigurine version. (o) Heb. "pretiosas", Piscator; so Ainsworth. (p) In "pretiositatibus tuis", Montanus, Gejerus; so some in Vatablus. (q) Targum Sheni in Esther v. 1.
Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear,.... These words are either spoken by the prophet, the author of the psalm; or by the King, the bridegroom himself; or, as others think, by Jehovah the Father, whose daughter the church is; unless it should be rather thought to be an address of the honourable women, the kings' daughters, the virgins and companions of the bride, delivered by them to her under the character of the daughter of Zion, the King's daughter, as she is called, Psalm 45:13, "to hearken, incline her ear" and listen to her Lord and King, to his Gospel, and the doctrines of it, which are his voice and words, and to all his precepts and commands; and to "consider", see, and behold the goodness of God unto her, the greatness, excellencies, and glories of her husband; to look to him by faith, as he is held forth in the word and ordinances, and to him only and that constantly, which is well pleasing to him;
forget also thine own people and thy father's house; Christ is to be preferred before natural relations; converted persons are not to have fellowship with carnal men, though ever so, nearly related; former superstitions, Whether Jewish or Heathenish, are to be buried in forgetfulness; sinful self, and righteous self, are to be denied for Christ's sake; and the world, and all things in it, are to be treated with neglect and contempt by such who cleave to him. The Targum interprets this of the congregation of Israel hearing the law, beholding the wonderful works of God, and forgetting the idolatrous practices of their ancestors.
So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty,.... Which lies in the comeliness or righteousness of Christ put upon her; in the holiness of Christ reckoned to her; in being washed from all sin in the blood of Christ; in the graces of the Spirit being implanted in her, in which the beauty of holiness lies; in the salvation she is interested in, and beautified with; in enjoying the order and ordinance of Christ's house, and in having the presence of God and Christ with her: and this beauty is not natural, nor acquired by her, but what is given her; it is not an outward, but an inward beauty; nor is it fictitious, but real; it is perfect through the comeliness of her Lord upon her; and it is durable as the olive tree: and this is greatly desired by Christ, who delights in her, and to behold her countenance; seeks after her company, and will have her where he is, that she may behold his glory, and he may behold her beauty;
for he is thy Lord; not only by creation, but by redemption, and in right of marriage, as well as on account of other relations he stands in to her, as Father, Head, King, and Master; and it is her privilege that he is her Lord, as well as her duty to own the relation; since, though he is a sovereign Lord, he is no tyrannical one, but governs with gentleness, and he has all power to protect her, and all fulness to supply her wants; and on account of his being her Husband, Lord, and Head, he has a right of worship from her, as follows;
and worship thou him; both internally, by the exercise of faith, hope, and love upon him; and externally, by praying to him, praising of him, and attending on all his ordinances, and doing everything in a religious way, in his name, according to his word, and by his authority; and such worship should be in spirit and in truth, in sincerity, and without hypocrisy, in righteousness and true holiness, and with reverence and godly fear.
And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift,.... That is, among the honourable women in the king's court and palace: it is a prophecy of the conversion of the Tyrians, and their admission into a Gospel church, state, which had its accomplishment in the times of Christ and his apostles, Mark 7:24; compare with this Psalm 87:4; and though Tyre is only mentioned, it being, as Kimchi on this place observes, near to the land of Judea; yet all other Gentiles are meant, to whom the Gospel should come to the conversion of them, and thereby become members of churches; where they are "with a gift", of themselves to the churches; see 2 Corinthians 8:5; joining themselves to them, to walk with them, and serve the Lord with one consent; and with the gift or offering of praise and thanksgiving, for the grace and blessings of it bestowed upon them; and with a free donation out of their substance, to support a Gospel church state, its ministers, and the interest, of religion; see Isaiah 23:18; the allusion may be to Exodus 23:15;
even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour; either such as are rich, in a literal sense, both among the inhabitants of Tyre, who were a very wealthy people, Isaiah 23:8; and among other Gentiles, especially in the latter day, when kings shall be the church's nursing fathers, and bow down to her, Isaiah 49:23; or such who are so in a spiritual sense, enriched by Christ with all spiritual blessings, and who are particularly rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom; these shall "entreat the favour" of the queen the church; not pray unto her, or worship her in a religious way; for God is only the object of such worship; but do those things by which they would show that they valued her friendship, and would gain her good will; as also acknowledge any former injury done her by them, and entreat her forgiveness; and particularly desire to have communion with her, and share in her prayers.
The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.The King's daughter is all glorious within,.... The "King's daughter" is the same with the "queen", Psalm 45:9; the church, who is the King's daughter, the daughter of the King of kings, through adopting grace, by marriage to Christ the King's son, and by regeneration, or being born of God: and she is "all glorious within"; within doors, in the inner chamber of the King, where being brought, she enjoys such communion with him as reflects a glory upon her; in his banqueting house, where his banner over her is love, and where her members enjoy fellowship with one another, and this in harmony, unity, and love; which make her look amiable, pleasant, beautiful and glorious: or within the hearts of her members, through the internal graces of the Spirit wrought there; the work of grace is an inward work; it has its seat in the heart or spirit of man, and is a glorious one, in its author, original, and usefulness; it is the workmanship of the Spirit, and a curious piece it is; it is the image of Christ upon the soul, a partaking of the divine nature; it is pure and spotless; it is clear of all sin, there is no sin in it, nor any comes from it; it is the saints' meetness for glory; it is the pledge, earnest, and beginning of it; it is "all glorious", and so are the persons that are the subjects of it, as born of God: there is nothing glorious in the old man, or corrupt nature; but in the new man, or work of grace upon the soul, everything is glorious, and it will issue in eternal glory and happiness: or all glorified within (r); like any house or building, to which the church is sometimes compared, particularly the tabernacle or temple, which were glorious within side being greatly adorned, and having many glorious things therein; as the church is with the graces of the spirit, and with the word and ordinances, and the presence of God in them;
her clothing is of wrought gold; this is different from internal grace, which is sometimes spoken of as a clothing, 1 Peter 5:5; since that is designed in the preceding clause; and yet this does not intend the outward conversation garments of the saints, which, though ornamental, are not so glorious as to be said to be of wrought gold; and yet not the robes of immortality and glory are meant; but the robe of Christ's righteousness, which he has wrought out for his church, the Father imputes unto her, and bestows upon her, and faith receives at his hand, and puts it on as a clothing, to appear in before God; and this may be said to be "of wrought gold"; because rich and valuable, splendid and glorious, substantial and durable.
(r) "honorata", Junius & Tremellius; "glorificata", Gussetius, p. 362.
She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework,.... Not in her sins, and trader the sense and guilt of them; as souls are brought to Christ, at first conversion, under the drawings of the Father's grace; nor in the rags of her own righteousness; but in the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, the change of raiment Christ has put upon her, having before this caused her iniquities to pass from her; or in the shining robes of immortality and glory: for this introduction of the church to Christ, her King, Head, and Husband, will be upon the first resurrection; when she being as a bride adorned and prepared for her husband, will be brought unto him, and presented to him by himself, a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: and she will be introduced, either by the angels, who will be employed in gathering the elect from the four winds; or by the ministers of the Gospel, who, at the general harvest, in the end of the world will bring their sheaves with them; those souls they have been the instruments of converting, comforting, and ripening for glory; who will be their joy and crown of rejoicing then; these will be brought in several companies, which joining together, will make up the general assembly and church of the firstborn, that will then be presented to Christ: or by Jehovah the Father, who, as he brought Eve to Adam, when he had formed her of his rib, and had prepared her as a helpmeet for him; so when all the elect of God are formed by divine grace, and are prepared as a bride for the bridegroom, he will then bring them unto him, and they shall be with him where he is, and behold his glory; which is what he prays his father for, John 17:24;
the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee; such who are betrothed as chaste virgins to Christ, who strictly and chastely adhere unto him, love him in the singleness of their hearts; are incorrupt in faith and worship, and of pure and upright conversations; see Revelation 14:4; these are the "companions" of the church, who are partakers of the same grace, enjoy the same privileges, and share in the common salvation; and, as they are partners together in sufferings, they will be in glory: these "follow" the footsteps of the flock, walk after the church in the path of doctrine and duty; are followers of her, as she is of the Lord, in the word and ordinances, and in the exercise of faith and patience; these, even everyone, shall be brought unto the King, not one shall be lost, or left behind: whither they shall be brought, and the manner in which, are expressed in Psalm 45:15.
With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.With, gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought,.... With joy unspeakable, and full of glory in themselves, because of what they shall be delivered from; from all outward troubles and afflictions; from all inward distresses, darkness, doubts, and fears; from sin, Satan, and all spiritual enemies; and because of what they shall enjoy, communion with God, angels and saints, the vision of God in Christ, conformity to him, perfect knowledge, complete holiness and happiness, and a glory both upon their souls and bodies: they shall also be brought with the joy of Christ's faithful minister, who will rejoice in that day that they have not run nor laboured in vain; and with the joy of all the holy angels; and with the joy of Christ the King himself, who always rejoiced in them and over them; yea, with the rejoicing of Father, Son, and Spirit: the Father will rejoice to see those brought in whom he has loved with an everlasting love, has chosen in Christ, given to him, and whom he sent his Son to redeem: the Son of God will rejoice to see those presented to him whom he has loved and betrothed to himself; who are the purchase of his blood, and the travail of his soul; who are his jewels, treasure and portion: and the Holy Spirit will rejoice to see those brought to glory whom he has been the convincer, comforter, and sealer of; whom he has been at work upon, and has wrought them up for this selfsame thing:
they shall enter into the King's palace; into heaven, the palace of the King Messiah, the King of kings and King of saints; where are mansions preparing for them, suitable to their high birth and character, as the daughters of a king; and where they shall enter, not merely to see it and go out again, but to dwell in it with their Lord, Head, and Husband, for evermore; and that as in their own palace, upon the foot of their relation to Christ, interest in him, right and meetness by him.
Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children,.... This is an address, not to the church, the queen, the King's daughter, spoken to and of in the preceding verses, but to the King Messiah himself, who was of the Jewish fathers, according to the flesh, Romans 9:4; and though he was rejected by that people, yet he had children; not only the apostles, who are sometimes so called, whom he set on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, in a doctrinal way, and sent into all the world to preach his Gospel; and which being attended with his mighty power, made them triumphant conquerors everywhere; but also a numerous progeny among the Gentiles: all the elect of God are his children, and he stands in the revelation of the everlasting Father to them, they being given unto him as such; and he being concerned in their adoption, by which they become children, and in their regeneration by which they appear to be such. Here the children of God, scattered abroad in the Gentile world, as distinct from the Jews, seem to be meant;
whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth; these children are princes, being the sons of a King; they look like princes, and have the spirit of such; they are treated as princes, fed, clothed, and attended on as such; and are, as princes, heirs of a kingdom: but then, they are not so originally, they are "made princes"; not by themselves, but by Christ, and who even makes them kings and priests unto God and his father: and that "in all the earth"; not with respect to earthly things: they are not made the princes of this world; but while they are on earth they are translated into the kingdom of Christ, and have a kingdom which never can be moved; and besides, they shall reign with Christ on earth a thousand years: moreover, this may have respect to the several parts of the world where they shall be, even in all parts of the world, especially in the latter day; see Isaiah 43:5.
I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations,.... These are the words of the psalmist, spoken to the King Messiah, declaring what he would do with respect to him; cause his name, that is, not any particular name or title of his, but rather his Gospel, the good matter he had endited concerning him; or he himself to be remembered, desired, loved, thought of, called upon, and praised in all succeeding generations; and which he did by penning of this psalm, which has been the occasion of the remembrance of Christ's name in all ages, to the present time; and of its being remembered by us now, and the same use it will have in time to come; see 2 Peter 1:13;
therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever; because of the excellencies of his person; and particularly because of his greatness and glory as a King; as well as for all mercies, temporal and spiritual, they have from him; and this is but just, meet, and lovely, and is and will be their employment, as long as they live in this world, and to all eternity. This must be understood not of all people, but of God's chosen and covenant people; those that are given to Christ to be his people, and whom he has redeemed and purified to himself, a peculiar people; and particularly his people among the Gentiles: and so the Targum interprets it of such that are proselytes.